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Thread started 02 Mar 2017 (Thursday) 22:20
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Interesting insight into the fall of Brick & Mortar camera stores

 
TeleFragger
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Mar 10, 2017 09:45 |  #16

jcothron wrote in post #18297203 (external link)
...... Lee filters for example. If you want a Lee filter, you would be hard pressed to find one in a local shop. You might find a limited supply of Cokin, but I've never seen a Lee in a shop (and I've looked).


our guy has them well he will order it for you.. he goes online and looks at the prices then quotes you) i still wonder how he is in business....


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jcothron
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Mar 10, 2017 09:58 |  #17

TeleFragger wrote in post #18297207 (external link)
our guy has them well he will order it for you.. he goes online and looks at the prices then quotes you) i still wonder how he is in business....

That's really cool that you have that locally. I suspect the northeast is a little better off in that respect. Both when I lived in TN as well as GA, local photography sources have been pretty slim.


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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Mar 10, 2017 11:09 |  #18

Interesting article, sad to hear of another photography store closing.

But here in Southern California Samy's Camera is bucking the trend. Instead of closing stores, they opened a new one last year.
There are now 6 Samy's store locations.

I don't know how they stay competitive, but I suspect their rental department rakes in a lot of money. At their Pasadena store the
rental counter is always busy with customers. And they often offer sales tax fee deals several times a year on select items.

https://www.samys.com ...-and-Directions/2220.html (external link)


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Wilt
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Mar 10, 2017 11:17 |  #19

Perfectly Frank wrote in post #18297293 (external link)
Interesting article, sad to hear of another photography store closing.

But here in Southern California Samy's Camera is bucking the trend. Instead of closing stores, they opened a new one last year.
There are now 6 Samy's store locations.

I don't know how they stay competitive, but I suspect their rental department rakes in a lot of money. At their Pasadena store the
rental counter is always busy with customers. And they often offer sales tax fee deals several times a year on select items.

https://www.samys.com ...-and-Directions/2220.html (external link)

It must be the rental market to all the papparazzi in the greater LA area that keeps six Samy's thriving!


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welshwizard1971
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Post has been edited 7 months ago by welshwizard1971.
Mar 10, 2017 13:16 |  #20

TeleFragger wrote in post #18297142 (external link)
we have one as well and their pricing is out of control. so much cheaper to just get it online through the normal trusted retailers.

heck.. they go on ebay to see what something sells for when they buy from you.. then offer you 30-40% less than what it sell for...

so i just use them to test things out since they have it all setup.... that is where i tested the 7d m2 with 18-35 1.8 (which i will get eventually) also the 50-500


It's called profit margin, mark up, whatever, they have to charge more than private prices, they have to make a profit, pay wages, pay bills, then they have to offer a warranty on the second hand goods, and compensate for the times they get ripped off my people bringing in dodgy kit to get rid of it. You can't seriously think they'd pay full whack, then sell it on for what they paid for it? How do they cover their overheads, their risks?

Then we have an example of not why shops are going out of business, but are actively being driven out of business by people who use their staff time, their heating bills, their electricity bills, and abuse their stock, then give them no custom whatsoever.

So perhaps that's why they have prices that are out of control, people are abusing their goodwill and removing any margin they had to offer in the first place.

People should be supporting their local businesses, not abusing them, they're not going to survive by selling odds and sods, it's big ticket items that pay the bills and keep them open.

And yes, I do run my own business, £1M+, and yes, I've worked in retail, top end fly fishing, where I'd often spend a hour demo'ing a £1000 rod to someone, who then goes off and buys it on the internet, then comes back a week later claiming on it's warranty when it's broken, demanding it back within a week, and buying £2 worth of flies whilst complaining he's had to drive 100 miles as his local shop has closed down.............


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umphotography
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Mar 26, 2017 15:19 |  #21

Mom and Pop stores have ZERO chance against amazon, B&H and Adorama. Its all about volume and buying in mass quantities to get the price breaks substantially LOWER than cost point for the Mom and Pop stores. Mom and Pops costs for products are more than B&H costs for products and B&H sells cheaper and has greater profit margins as well.

Plus No One pays sales tax and No one repots it to uncle sam. The Govt does not enforce the tax codes.....so mom and pops are an additional 7-9% above B&H to collect state taxes

They are basically screwed


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Phoenixkh
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Mar 26, 2017 15:40 |  #22

umphotography wrote in post #18311547 (external link)
Mom and Pop stores have ZERO chance against amazon, B&H and Adorama. Its all about volume and buying in mass quantities to get the price breaks substantially LOWER than cost point for the Mom and Pop stores. Mom and Pops costs for products are more than B&H costs for products and B&H sells cheaper and has greater profit margins as well.

Plus No One pays sales tax and No one repots it to uncle sam. The Govt does not enforce the tax codes.....so mom and pops are an additional 7-9% above B&H to collect state taxes

They are basically screwed

Unless they find a way to have an online presence. I tend to call Allen's Camera first. I have no idea how big they are but they often have recently released lenses when everyone else is sold out.

That was the case with my 100-400ii.


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PhillyBill
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Mar 30, 2017 17:01 as a reply to post 18290356 |  #23

Yes. Allen's is fantastic, and they still seem to have plenty of customers. They are a stocking Olympus dealer, too! We are fortunate in the Philly area that we still have several decent brick and mortar stores - Allen's, Cardinal, Webb, New York Photo and Video (yeah, it's in PA), the Camera Shop, Jack's, Larmon. Plus we are only 80 miles from NYC.

Still, we have lost MidCity, Abbey, and all the chain stores (Ritz, Calumet). Larmon, Jack's, and NYPV all were multi-store chains now down to a single location.

When I talk to the owners about the shrinkage, they cite what was in the article (low margins, sales tax) but also the contraction of the photo printing business. The print, like the SLR/MSC, is now the province of the serious photographer, with the folks shooting on cell phones or consumer level cameras largely satisfied to view or share photos on a screen.

Sales tax actually takes its biggest toll on the high ticket items with the smallest margins, like camera bodies, so it is the least of the culprits. Stores have closed in nearby Delaware, too, where they do not have a state sales tax.




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Pigpen101
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Mar 30, 2017 17:20 |  #24

jcothron wrote in post #18297203 (external link)
Unfortunately location hurts the situation as well. I've been to Showcase in ATL and done a little business with them over the years. Pricing isn't so much the issue as distance. 1.5 hours of driving each way cuts into the schedule quite harshly. Still, I hate to see people such as Showcase going out of business. I don't think however it is entirely due to not being able to compete.

I'm into bicycling pretty heavy. Just like photography I could buy almost any item online, get it a little cheaper and in some cases...faster. I choose to do business with a local bike shop however because I believe in supporting the local economy and the shop itself does a great job of having a selection you are comfortable choosing from (like Conago). Photography is a different landscape in that respect. Locally, there is or was a Wolf Camera but frankly (although I've used them for a few things) they generally don't have what you are looking for, and it takes them too long to get it at a higher price. Also, the knowledge level doesn't seem as high as what you could fine on this forum as an example.

That leaves self research and online retailers. I've done business with B&H for years, and they have never let me down. A few other online retailers as well, but the bulk has been B&H. Lee filters for example. If you want a Lee filter, you would be hard pressed to find one in a local shop. You might find a limited supply of Cokin, but I've never seen a Lee in a shop (and I've looked).


I guess I'm the exception to the rule here. I wanted some 4x6 ND filters and the mounting kit. No one, and I mean no one, had the kit with the 77mm converter (the most popular). Nobody could even begin to tell me a guestimation on it's arrival. I was told it's been out of stock for months!! I called Allen's Camera and they had one in stock (actually 9). My wait was over.




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gjl711
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Mar 30, 2017 18:28 |  #25

Pigpen101 wrote in post #18315166 (external link)
I guess I'm the exception to the rule here. I wanted some 4x6 ND filters and the mounting kit. No one, and I mean no one, had the kit with the 77mm converter (the most popular). Nobody could even begin to tell me a guestimation on it's arrival. I was told it's been out of stock for months!! I called Allen's Camera and they had one in stock (actually 9). My wait was over.

This seemed odd so I googled and it seems everyone has them. Soft edge, hard edge, 3-pack kits and different holders as well, Lee, Cokin, Tiffen, Hitech. I tried B&H, Adorama, Amazon, Ebay, they all have them.


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jcothron
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Mar 30, 2017 18:45 |  #26

gjl711 wrote in post #18315209 (external link)
This seemed odd so I googled and it seems everyone has them. Soft edge, hard edge, 3-pack kits and different holders as well, Lee, Cokin, Tiffen, Hitech. I tried B&H, Adorama, Amazon, Ebay, they all have them.

There was a time when Lee was running WAY behind in production. There was a real shortage.


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KenjiS
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Apr 06, 2017 00:23 |  #27

Where I live is an interesting dilemma.. I live in NY so I pay tax from the big players (Adorama and B&H)

I wont name names, even though one is closed now.. but this was my experiences in general and why I went online

The one thats closed now was one of my favorite stores, its where I bought my first real camera, and even bought a few lenses and other things there, but two things pushed me to online, one was price the other was selection

One local store would regularly be priced a decent chunk more than online, plus paying tax. Say a Sigma lens would be MSRP whereas online it would be listed frequently for a bit less. They also rarely had the lenses I wanted in stock (they had a good selection mind you, including Canon L lenses) and to order you had to give them 25% which, if i remember right, was non refundable and it would take about 2 weeks to receive the lens at least. Also there were NO returns on special orders. At all

The others pricing was more in line, but they did NOT stock much for Canon mount and I had an extremely bad experience with them wherein I ordered a lens from them and after a month I still hadn't received it and they could NOT tell me where my lens went (Which was frustrating given I had to pay 100% upfront) Then when I told them to figure out whats going on or i want my money back they charged my card a second time instead of refunding.. Which killed my desire to EVER return.

So I went online less because it cost more because of tax (it cost more to begin with) but because they just took too long and were too slow getting items to me. Why would I wait 2 weeks for something when I can go on Amazon or B&H or Adorama and get the lens in 2 days?


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Apr 20, 2017 17:56 |  #28
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i buy all my photographic gear online... photographic gear is expensive and atleast for now I can still buy it out of state and not pay sales tax.

When you buy something for $3000, sales tax is a huge part of it, if I can avoid it I do.


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